Category Archives: Alumni

Presentation: Dr. James H. Comfort, General Manager, Cloud Services, IBM Cloud Division

Mar31

The Chemical Engineering department presented a talk by Dr. James H. Comfort,  General Manager, Cloud Services, IBM Cloud Division. The title was “Crafting a Career in Uncharted Waters: A Journey from Chemical Engineering to Cloud Computing and Back.” The presentation was in Fisher 135 at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday March 31st. The university was invited to attend.

Dr. Comfort, a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1983 and Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988. His work at M.I.T. was multi-disciplinary in nature across Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Business Administration, and he was awarded a full Fellowship from the Semiconductor Research Corporation.

Dr. Comfort joined IBM Research in 1988 as a Research Staff Member where he was part of a team pioneering the demonstrations, development, and production of the first commercially viable, fully integrated SiGe semiconductor technologies. He held a series of management and executive roles from 1991 to 2003 encompassing SiGe technology, CMOS technology, three generations (0.22um, 0.20um, 0.18um) of DRAM technologies in a multi-national collaboration between Toshiba, Siemens and IBM, and Wireless ASIC technology development. From 2003-04, he was part of IBM’s Corporate Strategy team implementing structured business strategy development programs and from 2004-06 he was Vice President responsible for development and manufacturing of the IBM microprocessors that powered the XBOX 360 game consoles.

In 2008, he was part of the Enterprise Initiatives team that shaped IBM’s transformational Cloud Computing strategy, joining IBM’s Global Technology Services in 2010 as Vice President to help create IBM’s Cloud Services, and was then named General Manager, IBM SmartCloud Platform Development and Delivery in 2013. Over his 25 years at IBM, Dr. Comfort’s many roles have always involved collaboration across multiple groups or divisions, and constantly pushing the boundaries of what was believed possible, blending engineering, business and communication to build effective teams; all skills built on a foundation established at Michigan Tech.

PDF Flyer for Dr. James Comfort Talk on Tuesday March 31st

Watch the video on Engineering Michigan Tech Channel on Vimeo Crafting a Career in Uncharted Waters: Dr. James H. Comfort

Julia Zayan and Dr. James Comfort
Julia Zayan and Dr. James Comfort

One of Greatest Places to Live in America: Houghton

IMG_9635bOutside magazine named Houghton among the 16 best places to live in America, mentioning that Michigan Tech students double the town’s population during the school year. The article also notes Tech as one of the largest employers, praises the Nordic ski trails and mentions that Tech will host the National Cross-Country Skiing Championships in 2015 and 2016. See The 16 Greatest Places to Live in America.

Keweenaw Geoheritage Tours

Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula is known as a place of natural beauty with a fascinating mining history. Join local expert Bill Rose to learn how to read this landscape and how it came to be the way it is today. The Copper Country has a strong geoheritage comprised of five major events in Earth’s history. Rose has designed several two-day field trips that address each of these specific themes. Participants can look forward to covering lots of ground and being outside all the time with travel by boat, van and short walks.   Continue reading

Chris Anderson: 33 Years of Service in Youth and Diversity Programs

Chris Anderson, special assistant to the president for institutional diversity, has retired after 33 years of service to Michigan Tech, including many years of leadership in STEM education and programs to promote engineering for women and minorities. As several speakers at Chris Anderson’s retirement celebration noted, she has influenced thousands of students to pursue degrees and careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

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Spring Break Experience in Silicon Valley in northern California

College of Engineering Dean Bill Worek and faculty including Professor Linda Ott (CS) and Department Chair Dan Fuhrmann (ECE), are in Silicon Valley in northern California this week for meetings with major high-tech companies, Michigan Tech alumni and students on Tech’s 3rd annual Spring Break Experience. Dean Worek will lead a panel on Thursday, March 14, at Brocade Communications, alumnus Dave House’s company.

Brocade is sponsoring the spring break trip for 15 students from across campus, organized by the School of Business and Economics. Their itinerary includes visits to Google, Cisco, Kyocera and Tesla, in addition to Brocade. The goal of the trip is to learn about technology, business, career paths and the work ethic of Silicon Valley.

Brocade is also sponsoring an alumni event on Thursday evening.